Wrestlers lose weight to prepare for the season


Luke Deel

Wrestling season has come for the wrestlers at Rochester High School. This means wrestlers will have to lose extraneous amounts of weight in a short time. This grueling process is not looked forward to by many wrestlers, but it is essential for the wrestlers to exceed their maximum performance. Varsity Wrestling Coach Lafferty explains the beginning of the process.

“In the beginning of the season, we do a test that calculates body fat and monitors hydration,” Coach Lafferty said. “After completing the test, the person administering the test enters the data in a software program.  If one passes the hydration test, the computer tells each wrestler the minimum weight he or she is allowed to wrestle at.”

It is highly recommended that the wrestler reaches that weight limit. Coach Lafferty explains why.

“The wrestler at a higher weight class may be better than you and if you choose to wrestle your alternative is to go to a lower weight class,” Coach Lafferty said. “Wrestlers feel stronger and faster at a lighter weight, less body fat and better conditioning.”

Among wrestlers there are many techniques used to lose weight.  Coach Lafferty recommends the most natural way.

“Eat smaller portions, no junk food and drink lots and lots of water. Also, there should be no soft drinks and minimum juices.”

Coach Lafferty has seen some unnatural ways to lose weight in the past.

“I have seen some dumb ways to cut weight in my career and I hesitate to mention them; things such as diuretics and laxatives,” Coach Lafferty said. “Years ago there were plastic workout suits designed for wrestling with elastic around the middle, ankles and cuffs and a wrestler would wear them during the entire workout.   The problem with plastic suits are they make you weak and are dangerous, so they are now outlawed.”

Senior Will Mann has his own way of losing weight.

“I begin to eat less food,” Mann said. “I chew gum and spit into a bottle to overheat myself.”

Many wrestlers go to extremes to lose their amounts of weight. Junior Kyle Birchmeier is an example.

“I usually don’t eat,” Birchmeier said. “I start working out constantly, running, wearing multiple hoodies and sweatpants” 

A key resource the wrestler’s bodies need is water. Senior Will Mann recalls a consequence of being dehydrated.

“Some wrestlers were so dehydrated their skin was dry and their hair would start to get cut up,” Mann said.

Overall wrestlers do not look forward to this process, but it is essential.

“I do not look forward to this process,” Birchmeier said. “But I do it for the good of the team.”